Jewish soldier from Azov addresses Israeli government and people to save Ukrainian defenders from Azovstal

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Azov soldier Vitaly Barabash, who is an ethnic Jew, has addressed Israel government and people to help save the Ukrainian military defending Azovstal. His speech was shared on Facebook by the Ukrainian Honorary Consul of the State of Israel in the Western Ukraine, Oleh Vyshniakov.

‘I, Barabash Vitaly Oleksandrovych, nickname ‘Benya, have a hard time speaking now due to severe injuries, contusions, and serious illnesses, so my brother-in-arms will speak for me on behalf of all Ukrainian Jews who are here with me.

I wish everyone a peaceful sky over their heads. With these words, I will begin my address to the Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, the Knesset, the Israeli public, journalists, the Bain Stern Shulman Synagogue in Kryvyi Rih, Rabbi Leron Ederi, and I hope that I will also be heard by Julius Edelstein, Julia Malinovska, Eugene Sova, Alex Kushnir, as those who have a closer relation to Ukraine, as I do here, in Mariupol, Ukraine, in the rubble left from Azovstal, there are Jews here like me, like you. We remember how our Ukrainian ancestors suffered from the genocide of Stalin, and our Jewish ancestors suffered from Hitler.

Today, we are experiencing a new tragedy staged by putin, who continues the efforts of two past dictators.

I am speaking on behalf of all the Jews who are besieged today in the ruins of Azovstal. I am injured, and I can record this video. Others are currently fighting, defending every piece of the land that the Ukrainian people shared with our ancestors.

For the third month in a row, russians have been destroying everything concerning our common roots and history. Two terrible historical tragedies have always united us, but now we are simply obliged to fight because now it is our land and our country. Ukraine has never turned away from the Jews, so we believe that Israel will not turn away from the Ukrainian people but will stand side by side against the russian invaders, who brought a new tragedy.

Now that we are here, we need Israel’s help in withdrawing the entire Mariupol military garrison, and we call for help.

You, like no one else, have the power to do this. We have hope in you. We are waiting for you. We are writing history now.’

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